Monday, February 08, 2010

An Elephant and My Word for the Year


“Elephant in the Sun” – © 2010 Sydney Harper
Ink and watercolor on Bristol – 9 x 12 inches

About a year and a half ago, I spent the day at the zoo in Atlanta, Georgia taking lots of pictures. I assume a lot of that red-orange color came from the red clay they have in the area. These photos have been good inspiration for those times when I don’t know what to draw.

I have plenty of watercolor paper but it’s all cold-press and I don’t particularly like to draw on cold-press. So I thought I would try Bristol. I like drawing on Bristol but I’ve never tried watercolor.  It has an unusual combination of being slick and absorbent at the same time. It was a little frustrating at times but not too bad.  I think I’m going to put hot-press watercolor paper on my “To Buy” list.

Word of the Year

I realized that I hadn’t posted my word of the year for 2010 yet. I got the Word of the Year idea from Christine Kane’s Blog.  My word for last year was Delight. Most of last year was anything but Delightful though. Then I realized that most of last year was about getting myself in a place where I could experience more delight. So far this year has been much much better than last year.

That brings me to this year’s Word of Year – Abundance. I’m necessarily talking about things and money, although they’re nice too. It’s also about abundant fun, friends, success, health, etc. Basically I’m looking for more of the good things in life that I was lacking last year. So bring it on!

Monday, February 01, 2010

Jack’s Branch in the Spring

Jack's Branch

Jack’s Branch in Spring, © Sydney Harper
Acrylic on painting board, 5 x 7 inches

This is the perfect time of year to drag out some old photos to paint. Throughout the year, I’ll print out photos that I would like to use as a reference and stick them in a notebook. It’s a good resource for those days when I don’t know what I want to paint. This painting is from a photo at the Jack’s Branch rest area along the Natchez Trace Parkway. It was spring when I took this photo and everything was bright and green. It’s a perfect resource to work on when everything is dull and gray like it has been lately.

I painted this very quickly. It’s practically a sketch. It was one of those days where I didn’t have a lot of time to paint but I wanted to complete a painting. Since I exceeded my goal of 40 paintings last year, I decided this year’s goal would be 100 paintings. I have a tendency to get caught up in details when I paint, so this will be good practice for relaxing a bit with my paintings. Now if I can just forget I set this goal like I did last year, I might just exceed it too. Like my paintings, if I think about my goals too much, things start to drag.